…Drunk, depressive, anxious about whether or not girls would like me… I guess I wasn’t the best company for my sisters but they put up with me….
With the new high school, I started going to nightclubs with my sisters and getting hideously drunk at them, and crying at the end when nobody made out with me before it closed. The one time I did make out with someone at a club when I was with them and I was so drunk I almost fell over with the girl in my arms and my tongue down her throat. She went on her own way after that, leaving me to stumble back to my table.
Drunk, depressive, anxious about whether or not girls would like me… I guess I wasn’t the best company for my sisters but they put up with me. I remember one time at a club with one sister and I was feeling a bit down and to cheer up she and her friends started singing “Cheer up sleepy Jean”, just replacing Jean with my name… That was at a New Years’ Eve party at The Carlton Nightclub in Morecambe… I remember the place but I can’t remember leaving; apparently I was pretty bad and throwing up everywhere, crying again.
But I digress… Neither was I great company when I wasn’t with my sisters. Once at a pub where almost everybody in the year went along for a night out, I decided to drink a small bottle of vodka beforehand to get in the mood, and continue drinking shots at the bar. I woke up the afternoon on the day after, hungover of course, with very little memory. Apparently my dad had to collect me from the hospital at 3am as I had collapsed and was found rolling on the grass drifting in and out of consciousness, moaning “take me to a fucking hospital”
Things started to pick up when I was 17 and a friend introduced me to a single girl who he knew: Kate. We got on well enough. It is so long ago now that it is difficult to remember so much, though we did end up making out and on the second date I lost my virginity to her. It wasn’t great. She stayed over at my place and slept in the loft (we had a loft conversion) and I was in a bedroom on the floor below. At 1am I snuck upstairs to be with her, trying to be quiet so as not to wake my parents (who were in the room directly beneath the loft area). The floor of her room did creak so when we were doing it, we had to be as quiet as possible. Plus there wasn’t so much headroom so there wasn’t really room to be very adventurous. All very awkward and not really very pleasant or fun, but still… first times rarely are really, no? The girl called me a couple of days later saying that she didn’t want a relationship – she was “hung up about her ex”, so I guess she didn’t really enjoy it either.
…ultimately the three years I spent at boarding school did help me in the end; seeing and experiencing how nasty kids could be to each other, without recourse to parents on a regular basis, and developing a little bit of “immunity” to it all…
Going into my third and final high school, from 16 to 18 years old to study my A-Levels, I was getting better and crying much less frequently. The “new start” at this new school was considerably more successful than the previous one and I actually liked this new place and wasn’t terrified to go there every day. Not crying on my first day helped as well. The other students weren’t too embarrassed to be around me, which was a step up. I still wasn’t very confident and found it hard speaking much to people, and certainly impossible to really speak with girls (well to be honest, I wasn’t really confident speaking with anybody I didn’t really know, let alone just the girls).
I think I was kind of seen as a strange, quiet nerdy type of person, but I still got on with people in general. I think that ultimately the three years I spent at boarding school did help me in the end; seeing and experiencing how nasty kids could be to each other, without recourse to parents on a regular basis, and developing a little bit of “immunity” to it all I suppose. I guess it was also just me growing a bit more mature with time, or maybe just learning self-control to just ignore what people said, or go with what they said… ie, if somebody said something that I might have previously hurt me, I would laugh and joke at myself with them (something I learned more to do at boarding school as well), so the effect of their joke was kind of lost. A little self-deprecating maybe, but it seemed to work.
I might have been a bit eager to make friends at the start, though. In the first few weeks there was a guy who was also new at the school and we seemed to get on very well. He lived near me and he came back via my place once after school. I confided in him about the lies that I told at my previous school, trusting that he would keep to himself. Of course he didn’t, and I found out pretty quickly that he had told other people. I think he was almost as insecure as I was about making friends and he used that to try and make himself the talking point and get attention. A learning point about being silly and naive, but I was pretty hurt by it.